As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
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by Matador, 28 November 2017. ISBN 978-1788039-88-8
Doug Thompson has produced a fascinating story.
His protagonist is Sally Jardine-Fell who is in Holloway Prison awaiting trial
for murder in 1946. The vis Tim is an Italian in London. Sally
tells the story of her experiences in the War to her lawyers and remembers many
further interesting details as she sits in her cell.
Sally went from a privileged upper-class
life in London to working as a secretary in a factory in the North of
England. Her husband has been killed right at the beginning of WW2 on a
reconnaissance flight over France and she feels rootless and
dissatisfied. She finds herself being tested and directed as she is
recruited by Special Operations Executive and sent to Italy as a spy. She
is aiming to get close to Count Ciano, Mussolini’s Foreign Minuster.
Her adventures in Italy are amazing
as she, firstly, pursues her allotted tasks and, secondly, wanders through
Italy after the Germans take over in Italy. Her memories are very clear
and her stopping points in Italy and her chance met companions prove to be extremely
varied. Her fears that there are double agents operating seem to be
accurate. The story of her life as revealed to the lawyers reaches a
conclusion for the trial. It is obvious as she relates what happened to
her and her own reactions that the lawyers find her free-thinking attitude hard
to accept and that they will gloss over some aspects to give an impression to
the Court that is more conventional.
This is a clever story which
quickly engulfs the reader in Sally’s experiences as she struggles for survival
in the teeth of life threatening dangers. The tension grows as the story
reaches a climax.
knowledge of Italian history is very good which is not surprising since Doug is
a former professor of Italian literature and history.
Jennifer S. Palmer
Professor of Modern Italian language, history and literature, draws on his
intimate knowledge of Italy to write a lively novel with a feisty protagonist
and colourful cast of supporting characters. The book will appeal to readers of
historically based fiction, those with an interest in Italy especially the war
Thompson has several previous books including nonfiction about Italy.
Jennifer PalmerThroughout my reading life crime
fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an
expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands
& the USA
but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.
by Zaffre, 16 November 2017. ISBN: 978-1-78576-182-9
and Charlie Swift are the perfect couple - Instagram-perfect, gorgeous,
successful and in love. Then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a
gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart. Enter London Herald journalist,
Sophie Kent. Sophie knows the police have got the wrong man, after all, she
trusts Charlie, a fellow journalist, and a best friend, with her life. But as
she is drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s ‘perfect’ marriage, something
happens that blows the investigation and her trust in Charlie apart. And now Sophie
isn’t just fighting to clear Charlie’s name, she is fighting for her life.
Perfect Victim is the second thrilling outing for Sophie Kent, and her life
hasn’t got any easier since Corrie Jackson’s first book. Sophie has a tonne of
emotional baggage: she is still investigating the possible murder of her adored
brother; she is dealing with the fall-out of an unwise relationship; she
doesn’t sleep well and she drinks too much. But she is fiercely loyal to her
friends and dives headlong into clearing Charlie Swift’s name.
a multi-layered and devilishly well-constructed plot this is. It’s a very
modern story involving social media and its manipulation. The story twists and
turns this way and that until your head is spinning. We have to sit by and
watch as Sophie tries to make sense of the mounting evidence against Charlie,
trying to reconcile the idea of him being a killer with the fact he is one of
her best friends.
strong second strand to The Perfect Victim is the relationship between Charlie
and his wife, Emily, which we see unravelling through Emily’s eyes in chapters
that count down to the day of the murder. The perfect marriage is not all it
seems from the outside, and Jackson cleverly reveals its disintegration piece
book is deliciously complex, gritty and dark. Jackson uses her own experience
as a journalist to show a newsroom under pressure. The book deals with alcohol
abuse, domestic abuse, sexual abuse. There is a religious cult. There are many
secrets and lies. It is written beautifully and with so much energy - the
characters leap off the page. It gallops to a good and surprising resolution.
Jackson has written a worthy follow up to her Sophie Kent book, Breaking Dead.
It is not necessary to read the first novel to understand the second, but it
would stand you in good stead. And, like The Perfect Victim, it’s a great read
- so what’s stopping you?
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley
been a journalist for fourteen years and has worked at Harper’s Bazaar, The
Daily Mail, Grazia and Glamour. After a sunny two-year stint freelancing in Los
Angeles, she is now coming to terms with the weather in Surrey, England where
she lives with her husband and two children. She is currently working on the
second book in the Sophie Kent series.
Mary-Jane Riley wrote
her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter, when she was
eight. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk
show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but
also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true
journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good
story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She
formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message
across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense,
drawing on her experiences in journalism. The
Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads.
Her second book, After
published by Killer Reads in April 2016.To read the review click on the title.
Published by Matador, 28 October 2017. ISBN: 978-1-78803363-3
One night when Jimmy Morton, a supervisor at St.
Edith's Night Shelter for the homeless is helping out, his old landlady Betty
Thrussell comes to him very distraught. She has found a girl's body in her flat
and wants Jimmy to get rid of her. He recognises the dead girl as Eva a local
prostitute and refuses to move the body. He wants to call the police, but Betty
is adamant that he doesn't.
Late that night a friend of Jimmy's,
Toby, persuades him to help clear up the mess at a local pub after there has
been a party held there. It soon becomes obvious that it was no ordinary party,
there is evidence of sex and drugs and Jimmy is pretty convinced this is where
the murder took place.
The local police are obviously in
the hands of the highly important men who were at the party, some of whom are
members of the Board of St. Edith's. Jimmy is taken to the police station and
is “slapped around” but he insists on his innocence and how he saw the body in
Betty's flat, and they have to let him go.
Meanwhile a young girl calling
herself Josie turns up at the Shelter with her dog. Jimmy looks after her and
takes them out begging with him. The Night Shelter has a great scam going,
sending people out to beg on the streets making out they are collecting for a
St. Bernard's Dog's Home and then pocketing the proceeds. The beggars actually
get paid a wage.
When the police bring in a Chief
Inspector Dan Hamish, Jimmy has hopes of him uncovering the truth, but he is
retiring in six months and doesn't want to make waves. Jimmy then decides to
make enquiries of his own and it soon becomes clear Josie is not all that she
seems much to his consternation. He then takes an interest in a very articulate
ex-public-school boy, Catesby, one of the members of the Board of St. Edith's,
and who was at the party. Certain revelations lead him to suspect him of Eva's
murder, but he can prove nothing. How can he bring about his arrest and emerge
unscathed? Catesby has many friends in high places and seems above reproach.
Jimmy must be very careful.
It seems there is no justice but
there is a final satisfying twist which makes Jimmy and Toby smile.
A very interesting book giving a
great insight into the seedy side of London. It was so well described I could
almost smell it. It also delves into suspected corruption within the police
force and high places, especially among the pals from public schools.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
in law, worked as a lawyer in private practice, as a senior crown counsel in
Hong Kong, and then as a senior executive at British Gas.He is the author of 9 previous books, most
recently Rendezvous with Death
(Matador, 2016) and The Unforgiving Shore
(Matador, 2015). His contemporary fiction draws on his personal experience and
often on the background to cases he has handed as a former lawyer involving
fraud and violence.
I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I
play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is
cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for
plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots
of great new authors.